AS FAST FASHION'S DIRTY SECRETS ARE REVEALED, THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW! AND NOW WE ARE LEADING THE CHARGE THIS BLACK FRIDAY.
In 2017 the UK spent £1.4billion on Black Friday shopping. One point four BILLION! Thousands of us scrambled over products from the UK’s biggest retailers to get the best bargain, that total steal, that how-can-they-even-make-it-for-that price. The answer to that last one is quite simple… they can’t. At least not without someone or something (i.e. mother nature) being hurt. The sad truth is that everything you buy has an impact, a chain reaction, and the bigger the bargains, the more likely the bigger the impact is. This is not a guilt trip. We all like nice things. But the transparency surrounding where those nice things come from is key. Once we know the impacts and also some of the alternatives then we can make better-informed decisions and actively drive change. And how nice of a thing would that be?
(Image credit: The Today Show)
This November, we are rising above the Black Friday madness - you won’t find any discounts in our store. If it was £250 on Thursday, then it’s £250 on Friday because that is what it costs. That is the fair value that reflects the designer’s work, passion, and resources to create something beautiful with a much better story than “I got it on sale”. We are connecting shoppers to designers like never before, revealing their processes through demonstrations and workshops, and sharing their stories daily as the designers themselves are on-hand to help. We are celebrating slow fashion brands actually making a positive change in the industry and presenting an alternative to impactful fast fashion right on your high street.
The Eco stylist has a great article outlining fashion’s impact, the importance of transparency and some steps we can all take to help the cause, one nice thing at a time.
Check it out below with more on their website: https://www.eco-stylist.com/everything-you-buy-has-an-impact/
Everything You Buy Has An Impact
The Story of an Apple
When you buy an apple from grocery store A, you give them money and you receive an apple. Effectively, you are supporting that business as well as the livelihoods of the people who work there.
If you suddenly learned that grocery store A was overworking employees, underpaying them, and lobbying against raising wages, you might have second thoughts about shopping there. So you decide to start going to grocery store B, which has better practices and allows your dollars to have a positive impact on people’s lives.
If you dig a little deeper into where the apple came from, you’re also supporting the farm that grew your apple, and the people who work there. If it’s organic you’re supporting a farm that doesn’t use environmentally harmful pesticides, and if it’s not you’re supporting a farm that uses those harmful pesticides.
None of us want to give money and power to an entity that does harm. We feel guilty and sometimes betrayed. With the privilege of choice, we have the power to put our money to work for our values, and if everyone did this we could literally change the world.
An important point of distinction here is that not everyone has the privilege of choice. Some folks shop purely based on price and need to go with the cheapest option. However, if you have the means to make a choice, then you also have the power to make a difference.
Why Clothing Is A Whole Lot Messier
When it comes to food our impact is somewhat straightforward but when we switch to clothing it becomes a whole lot murkier. Lack of information means we don’t always know what the impact of our clothes is, and the reason for this is simple: transparency or the lack of it.
Transparency is the key to letting us know the impact of our clothes. It tells else who made our clothes, where the factory is, if workers make a living wage, where the fabric came from, and a whole lot more. Without this, we could be buying clothes that were made with slave labor or child labor, and we have no idea.
Why Transparency Matters
Now you might be wondering, “ok, but does all this transparency really matter?” It’s a valid question, so let’s take a step back in time to remember what happens when transparency doesn’t exist.
On April 24th, 2013 the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh, killing 1,138 people and injuring another 2,500. This garment factory was structurally unsafe, and while there were warning signs the day before the incident, the workers were still told to come into work the next day. This marked the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.
The big question here is why a clothing factory was allowed to be this unsafe, and that’s where things get hairy. This factory wasn’t owned by any one brand, but instead many top fashion brands sub-contracted to this factory. Since those brands didn’t have to disclose their supply chain, the factory could effectively be unsafe and unregulated. This is exactly why we can no longer accept lack of transparency as the standard operating procedures.
How the Industry is Changing
This disaster also spawned the birth of Fashion Revolution and the worldwide movement for more ethical and sustainable fashion industry practices. People have taken action globally every year, especially heightened during Fashion Revolution Week, to demand that this type of disaster never happens again. Even one life lost is too high a cost to pay for the clothes on our backs.
The demand for ethical and sustainable fashion is on the rise, and you can see this in the rise of new brands and new startups helping people make a positive impact with their dollars.
With more information on the rise the choice is becoming easier: do you want to make a positive impact with your clothing purchase, or are you comfortable not knowing the impact, not knowing whether the workers who made your shirt were paid fairly or treated ethically? Seem like a pretty easy choice.
People and Planet
Despite the positive momentum, this problem is still quite large and it’s a problem that touches both people and planet. First let’s talk about the people.
The fashion industry employs 40 million garment workers globally, according to The Trust Cost and 85% of those workers are women. These are some of the lowest paid workers in the world.
Sometimes working conditions even drive workers to suicide, such as was seen recently in South India. Additionally, lack of transparency can allow for practices like slave labor and child labor to take place.
Now let’s talk about the planet. According to EcoWatch the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, after oil. A quarter of the world’s chemicals are used for textile production and the industry uses more water than any other industry except agriculture.
Basically, this is a big industry with big problems, and that means we have a big opportunity to make big changes. By buying less, and buying from brands that make a positive impact on people and planet, we can make all make a difference.
Join LDC this November as we rise up and take our industry and our planet back!
ANTI-BLACK FRIDAY CONCEPT STORE
Dates: 12-25 November (Open Daily 10am - 7pm)
Location: 64-68 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HR
Register free here